The rise of socialism in Gen Z from a Gen Z perspective.
Ireland like most of the world has been hit hard by the viscous side effects of its neo liberal economic system with the working class of Ireland being priced out of their own country due to exploding inflation of the cost of living and a stagnation in wages for all, except those in power who have continuously given themselves and their friends large pay rises since the financial crisis of 2008. This obviously paints a bleak picture for the youth of Ireland who are legitimately scared to enter the “adult world”, this has been leading to an increase in young people looking at the entire system we live in as the problem and questioning our current capitalist system. This is no surprise as this wave has been happening all over the world as young people face some of the hardest economic conditions in decades.
The modern condition for someone in their final year of secondary school is one of a country that no longer sees a need to provide for them, with a jobs market that doesn’t have much time for anyone without a degree and the costs of getting a degree leaving people lining up at food banks at colleges across the country. Even if you are lucky enough to find a job right out of school you are left on poverty wages that leave most living at home as trying to survive on their own would leave them unable to afford basic needs, and things that used to be seen as basics such as one’s own form of transport have become completely unaffordable with people having to rely on a public transport system that is completely unfit for purpose. Almost all transport in the country is based entirely around Dublin and transport that was not deemed as economically beneficial enough has been cut over the years, this again leaves many people in extremely precarious circumstances.
The state of the modern jobs market has left people leaving the workforce en masse leading to the so-called “labour shortage”, but why would you stay at a job where you can’t earn enough to live and are forced to do back breaking labour under poor conditions with almost no chance of improvement. People are increasingly becoming more angered with their bosses and their company’s CEOs and this is leading to a new Union movement, however it is often easier for people to leave the workforce entirely, yet the bosses wonder and cry “Why doesn’t anyone want to work?”.
Lastly, the impending climate crisis is probably one of the biggest driving factors of the modern rise in socialism amongst young people. It is common knowledge that the world is heading straight for a global crisis the likes of which we have never seen before and the leaders of the world seem to be doing nothing but dragging their knuckles, and it is clear to young people that the main driver of this crisis is the never ending quest for profit in our modern society. The world’s big CEO’s push for climate action but only tolerate it at a pace that suits them and their corporations, allowing them to exploit this planet as much as they can while they are perfectly content with possibly helping lead to the deaths of millions just for some more profit. Young people all over Ireland looking at leaders like Greta Thunberg have realised that the solution to climate change can only come from below and not from the corrupt governments of the world guided by big business interests, and it has guided many to join socialist movements to push for the interests of the young working class through people power.
Socialism in Ireland has seen a new wave of supporters in people who see the state of the modern Ireland that they are expected to survive in in the coming years and they see no change coming from within the broken and corrupt establishment and only through a true socialist movement can they push for real change in Ireland. And its clear that the new socialist movement in Ireland will be led by them.